Richard Quebedeaux's study of the growth of the charismatic movement in the U.S.

Until the 1960s and 1970s, there was a fairly large gulf in American Christianity between Pentacostal denominations (such as the Assemblies of God) and mainline denominations (such as the Roman Catholic, Methodist, Presbyterian, and Episcopal churches). However, by the mid-70's it was clear that practices such as speaking in tongues and faith healing has spread among mainline church members.

Perhaps it is better to refer to "mainline" Christian Charismatics/pentecostalists as liturgical Charismatics. I consider an awareness of ritual and hierarchial division one of the most noticable differences between fundamentalist/evangelical/Pentecostal charismatic practices and the integration of some pentecostalism in more ritualized Christianity. While my own personal experiences with ritualized pentecostalism are Roman Catholic in nature, I propose that many elements of RC pentecostalism apply to mainline Protestants as well. The following points bring up some of the more interesting aspects I have observed in Catholic charismatic practice.

One of the major criticisms that a few "conservative" Catholics lob at the "Catholic Charismatic Renewal" is corruption of liturgy and sacramentalism, concepts at the center of Catholicism. While speaking in tongues, known as "glossolalia", or the "Baptism of the Holy Spirit" may be construed as nonliturgical, most often these actions are performed before or after the Mass. Looking at Baptism of the Holy Spirit, I have noticed that the laying on of hands during which prayer and invocation of the Holy Spirit are bestowed on a worshipper is almost always tied to a formal and licit liturgical action. True, lay men and women are permitted in many circumstances to bless as well as priests. It seems infrequent for Catholic charismatics to bless people outside of a church setting. I say infrequent since I have been blessed by a layman on a religious pilgrimage in Bosnia while staying in a pension; the experience of aliturgical blessing may be contingent on individual communities.

The only other notable question concerning liturgical pentecostalism is "charismatic personality cults." In my opinion, I have seen instances where believers have been seemingly entranced by priests or lay preachers who develop a sanctified aura around them outside of the Mass or the functions of sacerdotal vocation. These preachers or clerics may or may not personally foster this attitude, and it is not my position to judge personal beliefs. Yet there appears to be a tendency to believe that since a person has exceptional homiletic skills or gains a reputation for healing mental/physical afflictions, he or she contains a certain charism of the Holy Spirit that is somehow individual to that particular person and not something which is obtainable by all believers. Perhaps I am being cynical, but in my experience this isolation of "star" preachers can lead to quasi-exhaltation of people as being spiritually more endowed than others.

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